Effects of Asbestos

Anyone who suspects that asbestos may be present in their home, are strongly advised to hire an asbestos contractor. These professionals are trained in identifying asbestos, and then using equipment to safely remove it from a property. A person who is not trained in asbestos removal should never attempt to excavate it on their own. By doing so, they may accidentally cause further harm, and expose themselves and their family to toxic asbestos. 

Asbestos was heavily used in building materials before the mid 1980s, until people started to see the negative impacts of asbestos exposure. People who had been around asbestos overtime had developed devastating conditions later in life, such as asbestosis, laryngeal cancer, and mesothelioma. To prevent you and your loved ones health, it is imperative that you hire an asbestos contractor to do a home inspection for the presence of asbestos. 

Mesothelioma

One of the most frequently diagnosed illnesses that stems from exposure to asbestos is called mesothelioma. This is a malignant tumor that develops from inhaled asbestos fibers that had built up within the lining of the heart, abdomen, and/or lungs. Common symptoms of mesothelioma include chest pain and shortness of breath. Those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma have a life expectancy of around one to two years. Treatment such as radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy may improve this prognosis. Other symptoms of mesothelioma include:

  • Fever or night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dry coughing
  • Respiratory complications
  • Pleural effusion (fluid surrounding the lungs)
  • Clubbed fingertips

How Asbestos Develops

The best approach to minimizing your chances of developing an asbestos-related illness is by having an asbestos contractor to visit your home and do thorough inspection. Please do not attempt to remove asbestos yourself, as these tiny fibers are not easily seen unless viewed through a microscope, and you may be inhaling or ingesting it without realizing it. Here is a step-by-step overview of how asbestos gets into the body and wreaks havoc on the lungs, heart, and digestive system:

  1. A person swallows or inhales microscopic particles of asbestos fibers.
  2. The asbestos fibers get lodged in the abdomen, heart, or lining of the lungs.
  3. The asbestos fibers embed themselves and damage mesothelial cells, causing inflammation of the area.
  4. As the years pass, tumors can form on damaged mesothelium, ultimately leading to the disease mesothelioma. 

The People Most At-Risk

Those who are most vulnerable to developing mesothelioma include people who have handled asbestos material over the long-term, such as those who were exposed to it as part of their job. Secondhand exposure is also possible, as people who work around asbestos may bring home particles through their clothing and shoes. People who have jobs as firefighters, construction workers, shipyard workers, power plant workers, veterans, and family members are most at-risk for mesothelioma. 

Be Proactive Today

Take your health and your loved one’s well being into your own hands by being proactive today. Consider speaking with a reputable asbestos abatement contractor in Los Angeles, CA about getting an inspection and having asbestos removed as soon as possible. 

Thanks to Nielsen Environmental for their insight into asbestos removal and some of the effects of asbestos.